I saw two spirits… One was God my maker, almost in bodily shape like a man… below him stood Jesus Christ my Redeemer, in perfect shape like a man…
. . . the angel had made known to me in the vision, that all Churches and Denominations on the earth had became corrupt . . .
He also told me, that every denomination of professing Christians had become extremely corrupt . . .
1). Norris Stearns in 1815
2). Solomon Chamberlain in 1816
3). Asa Wild in 1823
It appears that tales of heavenly visitations were quite popular around Joseph Smith’s time. Remember, Joseph Smith claimed to have had his first vision in 1820 although the earliest account wasn’t penned until twelve years later, in 1832.
For more on Joseph Smith’s “borrowing of ideas” (plagiarizing) the first vision, visit Mormon Handbook where they reveal these early texts that Joseph Smith likely used for his version of heavenly visitations.
The fellows at Mormon Handbook also accurately observe that since there were so many of these similar tales being told before Joseph Smith came up with his, that:
“Either God was trying to restore the true Christian church to dozens throughout New England or Joseph’s tale is a copy-cat among many.”
The reality that Joseph Smith lied about his encounter with heavenly beings is virtually proven when you consider that he told several conflicting accounts of his supposed visitation and it took many years before Mormonism actually settled on an “official” version.
The more one studies Mormonism, the more one is convinced it is a deception and this is why I always encourage people who really want to know the truth about Mormonism (both Mormons and non-Mormons), to study the historical writings of the organization all the way back to its founding. And in the above example, even before it was founded.